NEW HAVEN — U.S. Department of Justice officials warned Wednesday that there have been reports of people being targeted by scammers offering prizes for filling out fraudulent surveys after receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
“Consumers receive the surveys via email and text message, and are told that, as a gift for filling out the survey, they can choose from various free prizes, such as an iPad Pro. The messages claim that the consumers need only pay shipping and handling fees to receive their prize,” officials said in a release. “Victims provide their credit card information and are charged for shipping and handling fees, but never receive the promised prize.”
DOJ officials said that people should “never click on links in text messages or emails claiming to be a vaccine survey” unless they receive them from a verified source.
“Phishing messages may look like they come from government agencies, financial intuitions, shipping companies, and social media companies, among many others. Carefully examine any message purporting to be from a company and do not click on a link in an unsolicited email or text message,” officials said. “Remember that companies generally do not contact you to ask for your username or password. When in doubt, contact the entity purportedly sending you the message, but do not rely on any contact information in the potentially fraudulent message.”
Those receiving a text or email that claims to offer a COVID-19 vaccine survey with a link or contact information should report the communication to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by calling 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud, officials said.
Those who believe they have entered information into a fraudulent website can find resources on how to protect their personal information at www.identitytheft.gov.